Chatting with America’s Caddie: Jennifer Kupcho and nearly turning down an invitation to the Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Beginner

There could be just one first. Historical past not often cares if somebody says, “Hey, I used to be the second individual …” Which is why traditionally Jennifer Kupcho’s title will at all times be remembered. She was the primary to win the Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Beginner in 2019. Due to the pandemic, the occasion was not performed in 2020. So Kupcho has now been holding the title for nearly two years. The bizarre half is, she nearly did not even settle for the invite in 2019. Wait … what?

Collins: Let’s go means again to the start when the announcement was made that they had been going to have a ladies’s newbie occasion at Augusta Nationwide. What do you do not forget that feeling being?

Kupcho: It was fairly thrilling. They introduced it on the Masters a yr earlier than (2018). So I believe my like unique response was like, ‘Oh, I hope I get to play in that. That might be actually cool to play Augusta (for a) match.

Collins: After which whenever you realized, “Oh s—, that is actually going to occur.” What was that like?

Kupcho: It was actually thrilling. I really initially turned down the invitation. As a result of I had dedicated to taking part in with the crew (Wake Forest College) for an additional semester after I had already received my LPGA card. I felt like I ought to play for the crew and probably not do anything. Clearly, I modified my thoughts.

Collins: OK, cease. What? It’s important to inform me: Who you informed about your thought course of, and what was their response?

Kupcho: Truthfully, I do not assume anybody ever like was like, “Are you severe?” However I imply I had (talked to) a pair individuals and my faculty coach. I am certain behind their thoughts they had been type of considering, “It’s best to in all probability go play.” However they by no means stated it. And I did not ever actually assume something of it.

Facet notice from the Caddie: I informed her the story of Colt Knost, who turned down the possibility to play the Masters as an newbie in 2007 to as an alternative flip professional. He by no means performed within the Masters as an expert.

Collins: Clearly you made the proper choice. Wanting again at that week now, what was completely different about that match in comparison with others you had performed in?

Kupcho: I believe the largest factor is they’d occasions deliberate. I really feel like each second of day by day it was like, “You are going right here and then you definitely’re doing this and then you definitely’re doing this.” I believe I’ve by no means been so drained main as much as an occasion, as a result of there was dinner after dinner. After which it was like, “Oh, we’re going do that exercise on the ballpark.” It was like a minor league ballpark, and we had been staying on the lodge proper throughout the road. We received to hit pictures out onto the sector and there was a dinner. However I simply bear in mind being so drained earlier than the match began. It was all actually enjoyable. Augusta did an amazing job of planning it, and everybody had a good time. It was identical to, “Wow, I am actually drained now!”

Collins: The one factor you did not have was free time, which appears loopy.

Kupcho: Precisely.

Collins: What was the toughest factor concerning the week, golfwise?

Kupcho: I might say working towards. Due to all of the occasions that we had, I simply wished to loosen up. So really working towards was laborious to get your self mentally centered. You had been so excited for the remainder of the day, like, “Oh, that is going to be so enjoyable tonight!” and then you definitely’re like, “Oh yeah, I am right here to play a golf match. To not go to dinner.”

Collins: Everybody talks about how a lot completely different Augusta is in individual in comparison with on TV. What was the largest wow issue for you?

Kupcho: In all probability how hilly it’s. You do not see all of the undulations and the way uphill or downhill the holes are on TV. However in individual and strolling it, you are like, ‘Wow, that is actually hilly!’

Collins: The opposite cool factor about your win — your caddies.

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